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The Orbit

The South East/South-South meet in Owerri

I arrived, Thursday morning in London, for the “Legacies of Biafra” conference at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London. Part of the highlights of the program was the “Obi Nwakanma in Conversation with Olu Oguibe” event at SOAS on Friday afternoon, and my talk on “Okigbo’s War: Biafra and Afterwards” yesterday. More on this later. But on Thursday evening, as part of the opening of the events, was the showing of a documentary on the Asaba massacres, one of the most deadly events of the civil war. Again more on this next week, when I shall, I promise, give a fuller account of the conference at SOAS.

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Sanusi’s duty

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano, is an Islamic modernist and reformist. I arrive at this conclusion by the sheer weight of his contributions to contemporary Islamic thought, particularly on the question of Islamic Economic thought and Law, and particularly in its applications in what we now generally call “the Muslim North.” I am always a bit careful about a blanket description of the North as “overwhelmingly Muslim,” because we have no credible census to determine that. No one knows the number of Christians and Muslims living their lives daily in that part of the upper North of Nigeria.

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Whose PDP?

It does seem that the PDP has lost its most corrupt members to the APC. That’s a good thing for the party, and it must now see it as an opportunity to establish a true, solid, and credible party organization, run by a professional staff of well-trained party managers

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Buhari’s health

It was always an issue, from the moment Muhammadu Buhari won the nomination of the new coalition of parties, the APC, to run for president of Nigeria in 2015. Reports of the fickle state of his health was a campaign issue. Many on the opposition pointed out that Buhari was ill, and was on medication.

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Christmas in’Biafra’ and other stories

As readers of the ‘Orbit” may surely have noticed, this column went on furlough in the last four weeks. I’d chosen silence as a means of introspection and rejuvenation. Sometimes, Nigeria can hit one with such intensity in the gob, and force us to muteness. As every self-respecting newspaper columnist knows, such moments call for self-imposed solitude, and this to avert burn-out. Nigeria is indeed like that hot soup in the stories, which we must learn sometimes to lick from the edges of the bowl.

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